news releases

16 March 2020

Latino Community Leaders Encourage Congress to Consider 100% Clean Economy Act

Category: News Releases

Last week, Latino leaders from HAF’s networks visited elected officials in Washington to share why the 100% Clean Economy Act (H.R. 5221 and S.B. 3269) is critical in combating climate change in order to protect our economy, environment, public health and way of life. The act will empower the Environment Protection Agency to both set and move the country toward a national goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.

“We are facing a climate crisis and it is crucial that we work together to build a clean energy economy that works for all members of our society, especially communities disproportionately at risk to experience the adverse effects of climate change and carbon pollution,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “By securing 100% clean energy and preventing the worst impacts of climate change, we can protect our communities' health, create new economic opportunities and secure a better future for our youth.”

The Act requires EPA to prioritize public health, lower costs, economic growth, and support for a strong labor workforce and front-line communities. The EPA’s net-zero by 2050 plan must achieve rapid emission reductions at minimal costs by maximizing the deployment of existing and emerging clean technologies and build upon existing state, local and private sector climate programs. The EPA must prioritize infrastructure investments that are more resilient to a changing climate and built with domestic labor, domestic content and prevailing wage standards. Additionally, the Act requires the EPA to address pollution and cumulative environmental effects in economically distressed communities, communities of color, and indigenous communities.

“This bill is an ambitious yet achievable roadmap that puts our country on a path towards a 100% clean energy future. The American people and communities of color have made it clear that our country needs bold solutions to address the climate crisis,” said Arce. “We cannot continue to ignore the will of the people, which is why we urge both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to take action. The time to act is now.”

The leaders participating in the meetings at the capitol represented communities from Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. The Colorado College’s annual Conservation in the West poll, which was released last month, found that 74 percent of Latino voters in the Intermountain West support requiring their state to gradually transition to one hundred percent of our energy being produced from clean, renewable sources like solar and wind power over the next thirty years, that is by 2050.

“Americans see and experience the effects of the climate crisis in their communities every day,” said Arce. “But Latinos are disproportionately affected by environmental factors that are detrimental to our health. The EPA has the tools that can help our nation meet climate goals and this bill will provide the direction to quickly implement policies that will protect the health of all Americans.”

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HAF improves the lives of Hispanics in the United States and promotes civic engagement by educating, motivating and helping them access trustworthy support systems.

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